Do you remember that pirate barge? It is now an Airbnb.

The Jolly Lodger docked in Callao, Virginia. Photo courtesy of Lauren DeMarco.

If you’ve ever wanted to spend a night or two on a pirate ship, now you can. A pirate barge moored on Virginia’s North Pass which gone viral a few months ago was transformed into Airbnb.

Richmond natives Lauren and Kellen DeMarco bought the 44-foot-long vessel from retired firefighter Daniel Corder in September and opened the nice tenant in Callao, Virginia earlier this week. The previously abandoned 1993 vacation mansion features two bedrooms, one and a half baths and an upgraded fully equipped kitchen. The boat has also been equipped with air conditioning and heating, wifi and a television.

One of the two bedrooms inside the barge. Photo courtesy of Lauren DeMarco.
The fully equipped kitchen inside the houseboat. Photo courtesy of Lauren DeMarco.

Lauren says she and her husband were the first to check out the boat in person, which was an important requirement for Corder. When they first laid eyes on the ship, it was obvious to them that they had to buy it. But the couple ran into a problem: they actually had no place to moor a boat. They don’t live near water and none of the marinas in the area suited them.

Just when they were about to give up on the purchase, Corder told them his neighbor was selling his property, which happens to be the historic home of modern crab trap inventor Benjamin Franklin Lewis. The five bedroom cottage had remained vacant for 60 years after the death of Lewis’s son. The DeMarcos retained most of the home’s original furnishings and details, but upgraded the kitchen and laundry appliances.

The historic home of Benjamin Franklin Lewis, the inventor of the modern crab trap. Photo courtesy of Lauren DeMarco.
The living room of the lodge. Photo courtesy of Lauren DeMarco.

Regardless of which property they book, cabin and pirate ship guests will have access to the outdoor amenities of the three-acre site, including kayaks, fire pit and picnic area.

The gazebo and the picnic area, shared by the chalet and the barge. Photo courtesy of Lauren DeMarco.

DeMarco says she and her husband are working with Corder to find a way to use the properties to attract more tourists to Callao, which is a prime spot for water views and fishing. It’s only been a few days since the DeMarcos posted the ad, and five people have already booked the houseboat. “It’s either going to be the dumbest thing we’ve ever done or the smartest thing we’ve ever done,” Lauren says. “But we’ll always have a cool story about the time we bought a pirate ship.”

Damare Baker

Search Editor

Prior to becoming editor-in-chief, Damare Baker was managing editor and associate editor for Washingtonian. She has previously written for Voice of America and The Hill. She graduated from Georgetown University, where she studied international relations, Korean and journalism.

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